The Phantom, 4/11/08
As was no doubt easily predictable, I lost interest in the current Phantom storyline rather quickly after all the hilarious Jungle Patrol! catchphrases petered out. (Not that you shouldn’t be stocking up on Jungle Patrol-themed merchandise, mind you.) Basically, our lady cop and waitress have been attempting to capture a notorious arms dealer in an attempt to prove their mettle to the male chauvinist pigs who run the Jungle Patrol; throughout the process, the Ghost Who Is Helpful has been surreptitiously doing much of the heavy lifting in the bad-guy-neutralization department. Some might think that this is unfair affirmative action on the Big Purple Guy’s part to try to get some ladies into his elite law-enforcement outfit, but since everyone in The Phantom other than the Phantom is generally pretty incompetent, I’m guessing that secret help from the Unknown Commander is par for the course on Jungle Patrol missions.
In today’s final panel, though, we learn that these ladies may be a little bloodthirsty even by Jungle Patrol standards. Sure, it’s reasonable for them to return fire, but it does seem like they were just waiting for the chance, doesn’t it? Usually the Phantom lets the baddies off with a little chin music and a Skull Mark™ as a reminder to stay on the straight and narrow, but our Swiss death merchant here looks like he’ll be as full of holes as his nation’s namesake cheese in short order.
Speaking of gunplay, while our lady cop has obviously been through weapons training, when did the waitress learn to fire off handgun rounds with such steely precision? I would have liked to have seen a Rocky-style montage sequence in which she learned the various deadly arts.
“That, plus the transceiver I attached to the bottom of your car in the parking lot, means that we’ll be seein’ a lot of each other! Haw haw!”
Since the earliest days of this blog, I have made it clear that I cannot abide the “sexy” lady birds in this strip. I dunno, there’s something about the combination of beaks and feathers with some distinctly, er, mammalian characteristics that just utterly squicks me out. The attention that’s been lavished on the glimpse we get of this barfly’s lower back isn’t helping me, either.
Hey, look, Simon Krandis keeps a fistful of wadded up bribe money in his tuxedo jacket at all times. The man would have made a swell governor!
The final panel is simultaneously the most hilarious and the most fetishistically unsettling image the Spider-Man newspaper strip has produced in the last three years.